2. I still have to live a regular life of local radio, and family. On Friday, I did the morning show, drove to southeast Michigan for a NIISSA get-together, drove to Guaranteed Rate Field for a bar association outing to watch the Sox, and then drove home. That's traveling and talking across a swath of the Midwest.
On Saturday, Alexis and I held a party at our house for my brother, Jeff, and his wife, Laura. They came in from Columbus, Ohio, for the weekend. Then the whole party shifted to Beatlesfest in downtown Hammond. We listened to "Hey Jude" and "Magneto and Titanium Man" until midnight. We closed down the fest.
His wife Michelle
It was a movable feast. One minute we're all hanging out on our patio. The next, we're sitting under a tent next to the stage doing "Twist and Shout."
On Sunday morning, I woke up and went to the Laborers 41 outing at White Hawk Country Club in Schererville. I talked to a guy who corresponds for Lake Shore Public radio. He goes to a high school football game and then calls in the score and a little description of the action. "I get in for free and get gas money. Good enough for me."
After the outing, I went to my family reunion. It was at Lemon Lake County Park in Crown Point, Indiana. The electricity went out at the Shelter 2. You wouldn't think this would be such a big deal at a picnic, but there's a lot of hot plates with kapoosta and go wumpkie at a Polish family reunion. That and Bingo. It's hard to read the cards under the shelter without at least some overhead light.
After the family reunion, I went home, where Alexis and I were hosting another party. This was for her mom's 87th birthday. Steve Baunach, another white guy who married a Mexican girl, and I watched the end of the PGA Championship. Brookes Koepka won. He beat Tiger Woods at Bellerive in St. Louis. Since it was my wife's family, there was a lot of Mexican food to choose from. I ate some refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole and a jalapeno and cheese tamale. I'm not sure what was better - fried chicken with sour kraut and kapoosta a the Polish party. Or the plate of Mexican food. It's a tossup. Either way, i topped it all off with a dish of chocolate ice cream and called it a day.
3. There's definitely a lot to do with setting up a mobile video network and with doing regular My Radio Life stuff. But there's another river of activity. It's called Donald Trump. As the three or four of you know, I do a little show at 530 in the morning called "JED in America." I can't tell you why I veered from the normal course of talking about local stuff to talk about America. It just seems like the right thing to do. There is just so much happening at the national level.
And almost all of it has to do with president Donald Trump. He is the greatest showman of all time. Period. There has never been a more entertaining person. Ever. And to ignore this is to ignore the American experience. But to talk about Donald Trump every morning, you have to pay attention. And to pay attention, you gotta wake up early and review all of the plot twists of the day before.
In other words, it is a lot of work to stay current on all of the things that are happening with Trump. Currently, he's embroiled in a war of words with Omarossa, the black woman he hired to work in his White House. And then she was fired. It's a complete train wreck. Trump told her he didn't know she was being fired and then turned around and tweeted that she was vicious and incompetent.
To propel the soap opera forward, it turns out that Omarossa taped a whole bunch of people in the White House, including chief of staff John Kelly. She taped him as he was firing her and she did it in the Situation Room, which is supposed to be secure. It's a train wreck that you can't take your eyes off of. And it's just one of many dramas going on at the same time -
- Russian collusion
- the Mueller investigation
- the Manafort trial
- the attorney Michael Cohen raid
- Stormy Daniels
The list goes on. I can't get enough of it. I am addicted to the Donald Trump presidency, and I do nothing to slow my addiction. As a matter of fact, I indulge it every morning from 530 to 600am on AM 1230 WJOB and 104.7FM and streaming live on Facebook Live in video. It's fun to do and a lot to prepare for.
So there. I'm busier than a one-legged man in a shit-kicking contest. Big deal. Everone's busy. I get that. The biggest thing to note is that we are making progress in turning our sleepy local radio stations into mobile video. It has taken the better part of eight years to get to the point where we could sell advertising on mobile video. We're doing it, but for the life of me I wonder when it's gonna get a little easier.
Not that it's difficult to sell TV ads on mobile video. Actually, that's surprisingly easy. I thought that we would approach local companies and we would have to explain what mobile video is and then they'd think about it, him and haw, and then get back to us way later. This has happened with some companies. But for the most part, it's a lot easier to sell mobile video than it is to sell radio ads.
So it's taking a ton of time and effort to convince people to buy, set up their contracts, record their video spots, and so forth. Station manager Debbie Wargo has a whole team of people working on this.
On the other side, the technical side, we have to figure out how to stream live two football games on Friday night at the same time to a new website and play video ads. The biggest challenge with broadcasting from anywhere outside of our own Strack and Van Til studios on the campus of Purdue Northwest is Internet. It's always a mystery if we're going to have enough Internet to push a stream of the game to where it needs to go.
You can try to solve this problem by bonding together different wireless internet services. You take Verizon, ATanT, US Cellular and bond each one of their hot spots onto the same streamer. But that only works some of the time. When internet goes bad with one of them, it often goes bad with all of them. Also, we had to buy a couple of cameras and some software and some cords and a whole bunch of stuff.
Outside of the demands that my life is putting on me right now, there's also financial demands. If the three or four of you think about it, we're spending a ton of money for equipment, rights fees, software, cameras, connectors, translators and, not to mention, labor - and there hasn't been a dime to come in on mobile video yet.
If you build it, they will come. That's the philosophy. I hope it works.
…. It's 4:11 on Thursday morning. My brother Brian and sister-in-law Michelle are taking my niece, Katie, down to IU for her freshman year. So I picked up my nephew, Al, from baseball practice at Omni 41 in Schererville last night. On the way home, I got him Burger King since his whole family's down in Bloomington.
"Burger King. Who the hell eats Burger King?"
"Are you some sort of health food nut or something? Burger King is good food."
That's the wisdom of a 14-year-old American male. I gave Al a ride last night and came home and fell fast asleep, didn't even hang out with the wife. That's a shame. I get the feeling, when I look forward at whatever time I have left on this Earth, that I would like to spend as much time as possible with my wife and two kids. Just hanging out. I did a little of that with my daughter Jackie yesterday. Alexis was gone, so we ate dinner together. Perhaps it is because of eating dinner with my daughter, sleeping next to my wife, and getting ready to pick up our other daughter from New York City today that I feel in a relatively good mood.
Yes, Jeanie is coming in from New York City. That means that at some point, the three girls and I and perhaps stepson Steve will sit around a table and eat dinner. Just like the old days. The five of us. Can't beat it with a stick.